By Army Sgt. Brian Tierce
Special to American Forces Press Service
Feb. 9, 2009 - Since the 1st Infantry Division's 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team assumed control of its Multinational Division Baghdad operational area in November, soldiers of the "Dagger" brigade have performed a multitude of missions. For Army Sgt. Patrick Chambers, a recent change in jobs took him from vehicle maintenance to brigade leadership protection.
Chambers, a native of Denton, Texas, recently volunteered to serve as a member of the brigade's personal security detachment. It is a dramatic change from working in the motor pool, Chambers said, but it is a switch he was more than ready to make.
"Being in the motor pool is the same thing every day," he said. "Once you fix something, you have more things rolling in. I just wanted a change. I wanted to try something new."
The PSD section needed a noncommissioned officer to serve as team leader. Leaders noted that other PSDs in the brigade had the advantage of internal maintenance support.
"The brigade PSDs didn't have any maintenance personnel, Chambers explained, "and one of the squad leaders had been working to get me into the platoon for a while."
Army Staff Sgt. Galo Roman, of New York City, routinely encountered Chambers at the battalion motor pool. Roman was well aware of the advantages of having a trained mechanic as a part of the platoon.
"I was very excited when it was brought to my attention that Sergeant Chambers was going to join the PSD platoon," Roman said. "Furthermore, I was excited when I learned he was going to come to my squad. He is an outstanding NCO with multiple deployments under his belt, and he will be a vital asset to our PSD section."
Once the transition to the PSD was complete, it was time for Chambers to find his place on the team. This meant learning the role of a team leader in the squad.
"The biggest thing is learning how the team does things," he said, "so I can slide into the team leader position and fit well with the team."
As Chambers learns his new position, his experience as a mechanic makes his arrival on the team stand out to the PSD section.
"He knows the ins and outs of the motor pool, and he knows the key personnel in the maintenance section," Roman said. "Now, instead of spending six hours in the motor pool, he will be able to facilitate a new standard for the section to uphold with the maintenance of our vehicles."
As he prepares to spend the remaining months of the brigade's deployment supporting the PSD's mission, Chambers said, the operational tempo the soldiers maintain is the change he was looking for when he took the job.
"My favorite part of the new job is just getting out," he said. "Just being able to get out there, get on the roads and see what's going on in Baghdad, rather than always being on the [base]."
(Army Sgt. Brian Tierce serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 1st Infantry Division's 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.)